BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama football placed a total of 16 players on the 2019 Preseason Coaches All-Southeastern Conference Football Teams, the league announced on Thursday. The 16 selections are the most from one school on the 2019 squads.
The Crimson Tide had a league-best nine players earn first team honors, including Tua Tagovailoa (quarterback), Najee Harris (running back), Jerry Jeudy (wide receiver), Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills Jr. (offensive line) on offense. The defensive first-team honorees are made up of Raekwon Davis (defensive line), Trevon Diggs (defensive back) and Dylan Moses (linebacker). Jaylen Waddle rounds out the first-team selections, landing two spots on the specialist list as an all-purpose player and as a return specialist.
The second-team selections were made up of Anfernee Jennings (linebacker), Xavier McKinney (defensive back), Henry Ruggs III (wide receiver) and Patrick Surtain II (defensive back). Waddle makes another appearance on the third team (wide receiver), in addition to Shyheim Carter (defensive back), LaBryan Ray (defensive line) and Matt Womack (offensive line).
The preseason honor from the league’s coaches is the second for Davis and Jennings, while Diggs was a third-team selection two years ago and a second-team honoree a year ago. Carter, Harris, Jeudy, Leatherwood, McKinney, Moses, Ray, Ruggs III, Surtain II, Tagovailoa, Waddle, Wills Jr. and Womack are being recognized for the first time.
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns 17 starters and 43 lettermen for the 2019 season. On offense 19 letterwinners and seven starters return while the defense will have 19 lettermen and another seven starters back on the field, with five starting specialists returning as well.
The Tide has claimed five of the last seven SEC titles and five of the last 10 national championships. Across the last 11 seasons under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama owns a 139-15 (.903) record, including a 79-9 (.879) mark in conference play.
Alabama opens its 2019 season on Aug. 31 in Atlanta, Ga., against Duke in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The matchup between the Tide and Blue Devils is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff on ABC.